Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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Sissy Willis

I like my idea-creatures medium rare . . . Fascinating material!


And it's no coincidence that, for instance, writing still feels like hunting

Well, the typing does, anyway.




The NYC public schools have an outstanding program to introduce chess as an in-school and after-school activity beginning in (I believe) first grade. My son started in second grade and became quite good for his age.

Unfortunately, when we moved to the suburbs (one of the top districts in NJ) he found NO ONE played chess. I think the city is onto something, and I'm amazed that the burbs aren't part of it.


I have always thought that talent is mostly motivation. But our society prefers to believe that some people are born special. Instead of trying to motivate the less successful, our schools and businesses stamp them with a permanent label and treat them paternalistically.

I see this more among progressives because it fits better with their philosophy somehow.

Sheygets Goyishekop

An old friend, who was once America's second-ranked postal-chess player, was asked to be the subject of a "How do chess players decide on moves?" study, conducted by the psych dept. of our local University.

He was given a time limit to make a move, and asked to self-report on the process, describing his thoughts as they happened.

What he discovered was that for almost the entire time allotted to his move, he wandered off into the weeds: he thought about dinner, or work, or overdue bills.

When his time was up, the right move sprang into his mind.


Man, that is fascinating, because it suggests his brain was rapidly analyzing the position while his consciousness was distracted. "Mysteriouser and mysteriouser"!

Charlie (Colorado)

Amba, is that this much of a surprise to you? I have my best ideas in the shower hen I'm thinking randomly, often not about whatever the idea is about. I play solitaire (real cards!) to get a problem to come clear.

I'm increasingly convinced the "drunken monkey" internal-chatter part of the mind is not only not our "real" self (if that means anything) but at most only a tiny fraction of our mind. It just has a better press agent.


No, it doesn't surprise me -- it's just neat when it comes so clear. Herbert Benson, the Relaxation Response (non-religious, physiologica meditation) guy, wrote a whole book about this called The Breakout Principle. The gist of it is, you do have to work very hard on a problem, but then you arrive at a point of diminishing returns where you must totally call it quits and do something else -- take a shower, go for a walk, wash the dishes, it doesn't matter as long as you totally put the problem out of your (conscious) mind. The backstage mind then keeps working on it until you have a seemingly sudden "AHA!" I interviewed him about it for Oprah's magazine.

Bruce Achterberg

If you're interested in learning more about "talent", I highly recommend reading 'Now, Discover Your Strengths' by Marcus Buckingham:

My life hasn't been the same since I read that book.

Talent is no longer a word I use without understanding. These days, I wield "talent"--both the word, and the thing(s) the word points to--with purpose and clarity.

As for the unconscious (mind), you might like to explore the recommended books on this site:

That guy would like to think he knows a thing or two about the unconscious. He'd be right. :)

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